Barnet is comparable to a violently repressive one-party state where dissidents are thrown into labour camps and the world is periodically threatened with nuclear war, according to a right-wing commentator.

Rod Liddle appeared on TalkTV with host Mike Graham, where he compared Barnet Council’s goal to be the 'Borough of Fun' to North Korea.

And the presenter went a step further, comparing it to the George Orwell novel 1984.

The plan to be 'Borough of Fun' includes the council's bid to be London's Borough of Culture in 2027.

Admitting that he finds writing “difficult”, newspaper columnist Mr Liddle said: “They’re not satisfied with filling in the potholes and collecting our bins. That’s what they’re there for, for 90 per cent of the residents of any borough council that’s what they’re there for.

“Erm, but no, what Barnet are going to do is, erm, they’ve decided to be the borough of fun. They’ve drawn up this big programme which presumably costs a lot of ratepayers’ or council tax money.

“And it involves, so what is this fun they’re offering us? Communal singing. Amateur dramatics. Choreographed exercise. It’s going like North Korea mate.”

Mr Graham agreed: “They might as well call it the Ministry of Truth,” referring to the book 1984 in which dissidents are tortured into submission.

Mr Liddle is no stranger to making bold statements. During his career he has faced multiple allegations of misogyny and racism, and in one column admitted that he chose not to become a teacher as he was not sure he could resist having sex with pupils.

During his appearance on TalkTV, he added: “We can create our own fun.

“We don’t need these pencil-necked martinets to do it for us.”

And in an accompanying article in The Sun newspaper he wrote that any art created as part of the Borough of Fun initiative “almost certainly means a modernist mural of a lesbian battling climate change”.

Council leader Cllr Barry Rawlings said he was bemused by Mr Liddle’s “wilfully absurd” diatribe.

He added: “We want to stimulate the local creative economy, helping everyone from the world of performing arts to sports and cuisine to find a place at the heart of our communities, creating new businesses and jobs. We want to plant Barnet on London’s cultural map, establishing the borough as a destination for all Londoners to head to.

“We also recognise the immense value of arts and culture to build even stronger community bonds. And when developing our priorities, the Borough of Fun idea got a thumbs up from residents and community groups.

“Rod was also worried that fun costs money and our commitment to culture will detract from our ability to fill potholes. It won’t, we’re investing another £8 million to fix our roads and potholes taking the total fund to £17 million. Being awarded Borough of Culture 2027 would win £1.35 million of external funding from the Greater London Authority, a sum that would be 30 per cent matched by the council and the rest raised from sponsorship.

“Right now, we are putting together a bid to be London Borough of Culture 2027 and are consulting residents on our forthcoming Culture Strategy. Both will enable us to support arts and culture to become part of the community fabric, in which everyone will find value.

“I think Rod could do with a little fun in his life, and I’ll be delighted to entertain him here in Barnet.”